Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For Maple Leaf head scout Dave Morrison, however, there’s a professional poignancy to that concept given the status he shares with the rest of the club’s management, coaching and scouting staff. Morrison’s job, come June, will be to correctly identify the teenage prospect most likely to brighten the team’s future in the NHL entry draft, all the while knowing a new boss will arrive in the next few months and possibly clean house.
“To say we as scouts haven’t talked about that would be a lie,” said Morrison. “But we can’t control that, and we’ve got a chance to do something special in this draft.”
Given those circumstances, you might think Morrison would be hoping for the Leafs to sink as low as possible in the standings by season’s end to maximize their chances to select one of the high-profile prospects.
From Tim Wharnsby at the Globe & Mail,
Along the hallway to the New York Islanders dressing room, there are nine plaques commemorating key people from the franchise’s Stanley Cup seasons. From left to right, the wall of fame reads: Bill Torrey, Al Arbour, Denis Potvin, Mike Bossy, Billy Smith, Bob Nystrom, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier and Bob Bourne — and this morning Jason Blake.
Somebody placed a 10th tribute this morning, a picture of Blake , the former Islander and current Toronto Maple Leafs forward. Under the picture, it read “40-goal scorer.”
“Yeah, I have my sources as to who did it, but I’m not going to say,” said Blake…
from the Toronto Sun,
Asked to describe the effect of his injury, just when his team was getting back into the playoff hunt, Sundin candidly replied: “Devastating.”
Does that sound like a guy on the verge of returning to the lineup? Not really. In fact, don’t be surprised if the parties involved are cautious and hold him out until at least Tuesday when the Leafs visit the New York Islanders in Uniondale.
With so much still up in the air, this much is certain: Coach Paul Maurice said the decision to play will be up to Sundin, and Sundin alone.
“Mats knows what is best for Mats,” Maurice said. “If there are still questions, sitting out one game is preferable to this thing turning into a three or four (game absence.).”
via the Globe and Mail,
Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin left the game with what a club spokesperson called a “muscle strain” with five minutes remaining in the first period of the Leafs game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday evening.
From the Canadian Press,
As if the dismal Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t been heaped with enough scorn by hockey fans, the struggling squad may also be to blame for the recent cancellation of several high-profile CBC shows including, ironically, the steamy night-time NHL soap “MVP.”
The producer of “MVP” says she was recently warned by CBC programming director Kirstine Layfield that if the Leafs failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs this year, the public broadcaster’s arts and entertainment division would take a $10 million hit that would put some of the network’s much-heralded new shows at risk.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Hey, it’s like Jimmy Buffet sings in Margaritaville: Some people say there’s a woman to blame, but I know it’s my own damn fault.
If the Leafs want to know who is to blame for their predicament, stop crying about the referees and look in the mirror.
Every team has injuries. The best ones get the rest of the players to work hard to compensate, not play as if they forgot everything they were taught about the game.
Playoff teams are not outscored 68-46 in the first period and 78-65 in the third, as the Leafs have been this season.
from Risto Pakarinen at Hockey.com,
I would also want you to acknowledge that a great player can end up on a bad club, and nothing can save him. That winning the Stanley Cup is not the only yardstick against which players can be measured. That a player like Mats Sundin can play on a line with Scarecrow and Tin Man, and still have enough heart and brain for the three of them.
more on Sundin…
from the National Post,
Paul Maurice doesn’t check the NHL standings every second of every day, because that way madness lies. No, the coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs has a far more sensible approach to his team’s dying whisper of a playoff chance. How often do you check the standings, coach?
“No more than three or four times a day,” says Maurice, deadpan. “When I get in; probably once before I go on the ice; certainly after, though nothing usually changes much. And then, between 7 and midnight I wouldn’t check the scores more than 30 or 40 times.”
from Dave Pratt of the Vancouver Province,
According to TSN, Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke will be the new president and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs if he wants to.
Does Burke want to work in the No. 1 hockey media centre in the universe? Does Homer like beer?
Neither Burke nor Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Richard Peddie are talking publicly about this rumour, for good reason—if it’s true, it’s tampering.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
It is just far-fetched enough in this crazy, tumultuous, and controversial Maple Leafs season that making the playoffs no is longer out of the question.
Actually, with all that has gone on, a near calendar of calamity, the Leafs may be just astonishing enough to finish eighth in the Eastern Conference.
added 7:09am, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The prospect of the Leafs finally making good on their third consecutive late run at a playoff spot is a semi-interesting thought in an idle moment or two. But that is all it is. This is never going to happen. There are just too many things going against the plucky lads.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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